“This shows Iran’s internal power as we powerfully seized the military vessel of the world’s big military power and then freed its personnel powerfully after ensuring of their unintentional entry into our territorial waters,” Araqchi said on Wednesday.
“This is a sign of our might,” he added.
The IRGC seized two US Navy boats on Tuesday and detained them on Iran’s Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. Nine men and one woman arrived in Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf illegally when they were captured by the IRGC Navy.
Following the capture, two US and French aircraft carriers as well as their accompanying fleets and military choppers started maneuvering near Iranian waters.
IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi blamed the US navy for its excited and unprofessional moves after Iran arrested the 10 US marines, warning that his forces’ coast-to-sea missiles were awaiting orders to hit the American aircraft carrier deployed in the region.
“The USS Truman Aircraft carrier showed unprofessional moves for 40 minutes after the detention of the trespassers, while we were highly prepared with our coast-to-sea missiles, missile-launching speedboats and our numerous capabilities” and were ready to strike them in case they made a hostile move, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said after Iran released the detained US marines.
Fadavi complained of the provocative and uncontrolled behavior shown by the US navy, and said while the 10 captured marines showed not much resistance and accepted to give in to the Iranian troops, the US fleet that arrived near the scene later made many show-off moves near Iran’s sea borders.
“But we communicated an announcement through the international (radio) systems and prevented any further irresponsible moves by them,” he said, and continued, “Then they came to realize the IRGC Navy has the first and the last word in here.”
“The US and France’s aircraft carriers were within our range and if they had continued their unprofessional moves, they would have been afflicted with such a catastrophe that they had never experienced all throughout the history,” the IRGC Navy commander cautioned.
“They could have been shot, and if they were, they would have been destroyed,” he warned again.
Rear Admiral Fadavi reminded that the IRGC is in charge of the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf and “exercises Iran’s right of sovereignty powerfully”.
He said later investigations into their navigation systems showed that they had gone astray and entered Iran’s waters unknowingly.
“In the end they and their diplomats acknowledged their wrong action and undertook not to repeat such mistakes,” said the Admiral.
He once against reiterated Iran’s respectful behavior with the captured sailors until their release.
“The US and its Navy rest assured that they won’t be the winner of any battle with Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz as destruction and sinking of their warships will be the end result of any such war. But in those 40 minutes, the Americans were clearly under intense psychological pressure and they did not act like a professional and responsible force,” the Iranian IRGC Navy commander lamented.
Each of the two US Navy boats that were 3 nautical miles deep into the Iranian waters when they were captured by the IRGC Navy’s second naval zone were equipped with three 50mm caliber machine guns and other light and semi-heavy weapons.
IRGC officials said the coordinates recorded on the GPS devices taken from the 10 US marines confirmed their trespassing as well.
The 10 US marines were released by the IRGC on Wednesday afternoon. The IRGC declared in a statement that “it has released the US marines and their vessels in international waters” after its investigations showed that they had gone astray during their voyage in the Persian Gulf.
In its statement, the IRGC pointed out that its investigations show that the US combat vessels’ illegal entry into the Iranian waters was not the result of a purposeful act.
“Following technical and operational investigations and in interaction with relevant political and national security bodies of the country and after it became clear that the US combat vessels’ illegal entry into the Islamic Republic of Iran’s waters was the result of an unintentional action and a mistake and after they extended an apology, the decision was made to release them,” the statement said.
“The Americans have undertaken not to repeat such mistakes,” it added, and continued, “The captured marines were released in international waters under the supervision of the IRGC Navy moments ago.”
The IRGC statement blamed the US flotilla for its “excited and unprofessional moves”, but said the IRGC navy could handle the situation and restored calm to the region through powerful and wise moves.
Senior US officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, were in contact with their Iranian counterparts on the fate of the marines since Tuesday, and according to Iranian officials, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had told Kerry that the US should extend a formal apology first.
According to the statement, the Americans have extended an apology.